Posts Tagged ‘my mom’
One of the truisms of my birth family dynamic was that, as the youngest, “baby” sister Marcia was the only one to move to Charlotte, NC when my parents did in 1974. Leslie and I were both in college in upstate New York, me in New Paltz, Leslie in the hometown of Binghamton. And while both of us stayed in Charlotte briefly, me for four months in 1977, Leslie or a few months a couple years later, neither of us ever became Charlotteans.
Whereas Marcia stayed in Charlotte for most of her life, save for a few months here and there. I remember more than one conversation with Marcia suggesting that she needed to get out of town, or at least out of the parents’ house, when she was in her early twenties. For a lot of reasons, it didn’t happen.
When my father died in 2000, it then became practical for Mom, and Marcia and her then-preteen daughter Alex to continue to live together. This was actually a sweetheart deal for Leslie, by then in San Diego, and me, in Albany. The three of them were all caring for each other. Leslie and/or I could visit periodically, but the day-to-day concerns of our mom was not our problem, because she was being taken care of.
So, it was not until shortly before my mother died in February 2011 that I realized how difficult my mother had become. Mom was a genuinely sweet person – seriously, ask anyone who knew her – but she would hit and occasionally yell, not at people who were strangers, but towards her family, Marcia and Alex. Mom would hide the mail, which became such a problem Marcia had to get a post office box.
Every six months, Mom would receive some cognition test. Her results in June or July of 2010 were within normal range, but the outcome for six months later was far less favorable. Again, I wasn’t aware of this.
At the end, Mom was clearly suffering some sort of dementia. Whether it was Alzheimer’s or something else I don’t know, and never will. And I suppose it doesn’t matter.
What DOES matter is that it was unfortunate that the bulk of the care for her fell on one person. I wish I had known sooner how difficult it had become.
Here are a couple more pictures of my mom, before she was my mom. I don’t know exactly when they were taken, if I saw them before, I don’t recall them. Funny how she has that head tilt in both, albeit in different directions. My sister Marcia is doing yeoperson’s job of finding photos, scanning them and putting them on Facebook.
I’m fairly sure I know where the first one was taken. Read the rest of this entry »
Right after I got back to Albany, after my mother’s funeral in February 2011 in Charlotte, NC, I attended the church service of my current congregation. It was Black History Month, and I had helped organize the events, but did not participate much in them. I’m standing in the congregation, rather than singing in the choir Read the rest of this entry »
As I have mentioned, my mother is buried at Salisbury National Cemetery in Salisbury, North Carolina; the place has an interesting history. My father had died in August 2000, and it was a great stress for the family to figure out the logistics. But when my mom died three years ago today, the situation was considerably easier; since Dad was cremated, Mom was likewise.
What I did not know is that Read the rest of this entry »